“Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas…is that even a thing that exists in a small colonial town in Southern Mexico?!”
That was one of our first questions when we contemplated moving to the small, charming town in Chiapas. While we were Playa del Carmen digital nomads, we were missing the authentic, cultural side of our travels. Whenever we asked our friends where we should go, we got a resounding “San Cristobal de las Casas!”.
We decided that would be our next destination! We booked our flights and accommodation but wait… the digital nomad life isn’t that simple. We forgot to research the most important question…
…how good is the wifi in San Cristobal de las Casas?
A couple of Reddit forums later and our minds were put at ease. The wifi seemed decent enough for at least our work. But little did we know…
…coworking in San Cristobal de las Casas exists! Can you imagine a small, colorful and mountain town in the middle of Chiapas, Mexico would have a coworking space?! I have to say I love how far and wide the digital nomad lifestyle has stretched across the world.
After living in San Cristobal de las Casas as digital nomads for 2.5 months, here are the best coworking spaces and our personal (and honest) reviews of them.
Best Digital Nomad Coworking Conditions
Not just ANY coworking space will do. After being digital nomads for 5 years now, we’ve created our own parameters of what makes a coworking space great. Here are some of our criteria for a coworking space:
Comfortable Chairs & Desks Provided
In a perfect world – every coworking space would have a rolly ergonomic chair and big wide desks. We noticed a lot of digital nomads like to spread out on their side of the cowork desks (we’re guilty of this too).
The desks need to be wide enough that it has space for a second screen (I use my iPad) and/or long enough to be able to sit with your friends. The chairs need to be comfortable enough to sit in for at least 6 hours a day. Frankly, I’m tired of plastic chairs that have zero support! We get that this isn’t the reality for every coworking space in the world but anything close to this is better than nothing!
Community That Makes You Feel Welcome
One of the main reasons we sign up for a coworking space is because of one word:
There’s a stat that 67% of digital nomads quit the lifestyle because of loneliness. We’ve felt this even as a digital nomad couple. How do we combat it? We make sure to join coworking spaces that have a REAL and active community behind them. And sometimes even if the desks and chairs suck – we will choose the digital nomad community over it!
Reliable Wifi Speeds
Nothing annoys a digital nomad more than jittery wifi connections…especially if you take a lot of meetings/Zoom calls. The wifi isn’t the best around Mexico – we got consistent speeds of 10 Mbps to 35 Mbps. It’s not the fastest wifi in the world but it worked fine for us!
Digital Nomad Tip: When you tour a coworking space – ask to connect to their wifi and test out the speed yourself before committing to the space.
As you can see, there are many benefits of coworking spaces for digital nomads. But what about coworking spaces in San Cristobal specifically?
Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas For Digital Nomads
We flew from Cancun to Tuxtla Gutierrez and rode a taxi to the Pueblo Magico that is San Cristobal de las Casas. Our friends all told us that San Cris was known for these things:
- local culture everywhere you go
The coffee was enough to convince us to go! But where were we going to work? We took an Airbnb apartment 10 minutes walk from the center and while we had horrible tables and chairs to work from…
…We needed to have coworking in San Cristobal de las Casas. While we were spoilt for choice for Playa del Carmen coworking options, the two options available in San Cristobal de las Casas do well in comparison. Matthew and I love to have a dedicated workspace we can go to every day, a comfortable work environment and hopefully a cool community we can join.
Centralita Centro Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas
Matthew and I were working out of our Airbnb kitchen table. We had this really old-style set and it was just horrible to work from – probably some of our most unproductive work. We just couldn’t take it any longer!
We wanted to do regular coworking days with our friends Paul & Bri and they found this cool coworking in San Cristobal de las Casas. After a couple of visits, we decided to commit for a month and rid ourselves of our uncomfortable work from home situation.
Centralita Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas offers the fastest wifi speeds in all of San Cris. You get a comfortable, light-filled workspace and a wonderful community. They have 2 locations around San Cristobal de las Casas – the Centro location and the Cerrillo location. You can float between the 2 locations on an unlimited monthly pass which we did regularly!
How To Book: To secure your membership, you can simply walk-in to any location when you arrive and sign up. In fact, we recommend that then booking in advance! You can see the prices below, we ‘Local’ package for 1 month unlimited use which tuned out to be around $85 USD – the cheapest coworking space we’ve worked at as digital nomads. Thankfully, they also have day passes if you’re only there for a short trip and need to answer a quick meeting or catch up on work.
We enjoyed coworking in San Cristobal de las Casas thanks to Centralita. They have created a beautiful space for digital nomads to do focused work and meet like-minded people.
Centralita Centro Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas
The Centralita coworking San Cristobal de las Casas Centro location is the bigger of the 2 options. This is the original and most central location – they opened the Cerillo location a few weeks before we left San Cris. The Centralita Centro location is also open more often than the Cerrillo one so if you need to work on a weekend – this is your spot.
There are several wide tables for groups of people to work and there are also single tables around the whole space. The desk and chairs are a beautiful wood design and the space has lots of natural light all around the space. There are about 2-4 private offices that you can rent if you want your own space.
If you’re feeling peckish – they offer some pretty good snacks like avocado toast, fruit bowls and they even serve coffee. Though you’re better off getting coffee at La Frontera just around the block! There’s also a little communal kitchen area where they have a sink to wash dishes, a microwave to heat food and some cutleries to use. There’s an outdoor seating area with a hammock and a couple of seats which is where we had lunch most days!
Room For Improvement: The only thing that was a little weird and if it only happened a handful of times I wouldn’t really bother mentioning this but…it was quite noisy at the Centralita Centro location! They had a bit of a weird system where if you wanted some peace and quiet – you had to go to the quiet room. Most coworking spaces usually have meeting rooms/call booths to help keep the noise at a minimum (which makes sense).
So what are you left with? A large space filled with people taking Zoom calls (sometimes without even using headphones) – definitely distracting and honestly kind of annoying. We overheard a whole sales call pitch, a yoga class and more because they allow calls in the main space. I’m not sure if this is still the case but you might have had to pay for the quiet room – it seemed like they were still working out what they wanted to do. Overall, we weren’t impressed by this weird system and could have done without all the noise.
Centralita Cerrillo Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas
Our favorite coworking space in San Cristobal de las Casas was the Centralita Cerrillo location! They opened it a few weeks before we left and we got to cowork from there! This location was much closer to our house and it’s honestly the better of the 2 coworking spaces. Why?
Views. Views. Views. They have a beautiful floor-to-ceiling glass window overlooking some greenery and mountains. They have gorgeous garden views and you could even take calls outside on the grass if you wanted. The beautiful coworking space had an outdoor area with a few chairs, hammocks and even a treehouse to work from! Honestly, some of the best coworking views we’ve had!
Centralita Cerrillo is only open on the weekdays till 5pm. We enjoyed this space so much more because it was also much quieter! This location wasn’t as well known by the members until much later which could be the reason – but it seemed everyone wanted to keep more of a quiet space there. Most people decided to take calls outside in the garden area so it works so much better for everyone! There isn’t an office space for rent available at this location.
While this location has fewer desks and chairs – it’s worth going early and snagging yours for the day. You can leave your stuff there and head out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in San Cristobal de las Casas, Tok Tok Wok. This Centralia coworking location does not have a communal kitchen but there is still free coffee, water and tea as with all Centralita locations.
Co.404 Coliving & Coworking in San Cristobal de las Casas
Our friends’ hosts (Joss, Lau & Dave) opened this spot just before we left! They are a community-focused coliving and coworking space in San Cristobal de las Casas – the first of its kind! We spent many months at a coliving space in Bali called Bali Bustle and we enjoyed every minute of it. If you get a chance to try coliving – do it and even better you can do it at Co.404 in San Cris!
There are tons of benefits of colving for digital nomads, so make sure you take the opportunity!
Co.404 Coliving San Cristobal de las Casas
You can choose to book a shared dorm or you can book a private room all to yourself. There are many options for every kind of budget at Co.404. The best part about planting yourself in a coliving space is that you can make friends instantly!
Co.404 Coliving focuses on building a family atmosphere amongst their guests. One of the ways they do this is by having tons of weekly activities for everyone to join and guest can also make suggestions like:
- Sunrise hike
- Family dinners
- Weekend trips to the different attractions here
- Cooking classes
- Market tours
- Salsa nights
- Digital nomad workshops
We met the owners through our friends and they are the sweetest and most welcoming trio! With a huge focus on community, your calendar will be packed with weekend activities up until you leave – and best of all you’ll have a fun group to go with!
Co.404 Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas
If you stay at the Co.404 coliving space, you automatically get access to the coworking space. This is included in the price of your stay – a great way to save some dollars! The wonderful people at Co.404 made all of the furniture you see in the space. They designed the coworking space with wooden desks and chairs which complement the entire space as a whole.
The wifi speeds at Co.404 are much higher than Centralita boasting speeds of 60 Mbps to 80 Mbps. They also have 2 different connections in case one goes out – smart thinking if you ask me! You have access to a communal kitchen, a Netflix and chill lounge and a beautiful garden with a terrace you can spend your lunches in!
Note: To access the coworking space, you need to be staying at their coliving space. The costs of the coliving space include free coffee and tea plus access to the coworking and conference rooms for calls/meetings.
Want to book your spot at Co.404? Prices for a wide private room and bathroom costs $13,000 pesos or $631 USD, this includes the coworking space too! The best way is to book is to DM them on Instagram and/or email them.
Best Cafes To Work From in San Cristobal de las Casas
One of the main reasons we decided to go to San Cristobal de las Casas is because of the plethora of cafes all around the city. Here’s a short list of some of the best cafes in San Cristobal de las Casas that we’ve worked from.
La Frontera Artisan Coffee & Bakery
If you could snag yourself a spot in the garden area, you’re rewarded with a peaceful space to work for the morning/afternoon. The coffee, hot chocolate and brunch food were some of the best in San Cristobal de las Casas.
We went to this cafe a lot because they didn’t care if you brought out a laptop! The only thing was the wifi was very spotty. They have both indoor and outdoor spaces and I remember having to move from table to table to get better wifi (not recommended). If you come early in the morning when there are fewer people – it’s a great cafe to work from with more stable wifi.
The best coffee in San Cristobal de las Casas is found at Cafeologia. We enjoyed their cappuccinos, cold brews and kombucha! The space is beautifully and minimally designed which we love the look of.
This was one of the cafes that didn’t really want you to stay very long with a laptop. There was a stick on each desk that said 1-hour max. However, we noticed it wasn’t really ‘policed’ so it seemed like you could probably get away with it.
This is still one of the most beautiful cafes in all of San Cristobal and worth a visit!
Amor Negro Cafe
We had our eyes on going to Amor Negro Cafe ever since we first booked our flights to Tuxtla Guiterrez! Amor Negro Cafe (aka Black Love Coffee) is located inside the Plaza San Augustin and it’s also beautifully styled. Being in the plaza, you feel like you’re in a big light-filled space where you can get some work done.
They also didn’t seem too happy whenever you brought your laptop out. I would just keep the hours to a minimum when visiting places like this.
We were happy with the number of choices for cafes to work from however…they seemed to keep you at a time limit at some cafes. The laptop lifestyle wasn’t so well received in our experience which is why I recommend choosing a coworking space instead.
Frequently Asked Questions – Coworking San Cristobal de las Casas
When is the best time to visit San Cristobal de las Casas?
The best time to visit San Cristobal de las Casas is from the end of February to mid-May. You get more daylight hours and the warmest days throughout the year. June is probably the worst time to visit because it could rain 28/30 days that you’re there!
What’s the wifi speed in San Cristobal de las Casas like for digital nomads?
The wifi speed in San Cristobal de las Casas ranged from 6 Mbps to 80 Mbps. Your best chance for the fastest wifi is at the Centralita coworking space or by staying at Co.404 for the fastest wifi. Caution: Our signal/phone data did not work very well around the city so hot-spotting wasn’t always a viable option.
What’s the cost of living in San Cristobal de las Casas for digital nomads?
Our cost of living in San Cristobal de las Casas was $2,100 for 1 month. That’s the total for 2 people. We found it to be very low-cost and there were lots of places you could save money here.
Where to eat in San Cristobal de las Casas?
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in San Cris. Check out this blog for our top 28 restaurants San Cristobal de las Casas that are worth the try!
Will digital nomads like San Cristobal de las Casas as a destination?
We have to say – yes! We absolutely loved our 2.5 months here. You have the Mexican culture all around you, the cute cobblestone streets and all the food and coffee you could want! However, it can get pretty cold in San Cris – a reason why we were happy to leave. The wifi also wasn’t the greatest but it wasn’t the worst – you know?
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We want to hear from you…
Have you tried any of these coworking spaces? Is San Cristobal de las Casas on your Mexico bucket list? Comment below and let us know. We read every response!